Sunday, April 10, 2011

Miranda Lambert's Revolution

Famous In ANY Town: Miranda Lambert

There is no denying that an essential element in a singer’s success is in having a voice that is pleasant to listen to. A sweet tone, coupled with a beguiling regional accent goes a long way when that voice is used like an instrument being played by someone who understands what it can do and how to make it sound its best.

Miranda Lambert owes much to such a voice. It doesn’t hurt that she is capable of honeyed phrasing and a feel for power and softness when called for; neither does it hurt that she is a capable and perceptive songwriter. She has no qualms about saying “My neighbor’s car got stole last night” because that’s how folks speak. She’s cute too. ("Only Prettier.")

Lambert has been tearing up the awards season like hugging trophies was going out of style, and deservedly so. A pity about America is that its music is so fragmented; Lambert shouldn't be a great country singer; she's a great singer, period. 

When she was first being recorded, she was promoted as a sort of blonde Gretchen Wilson, in that she is a no-nonsense country gal who can handle a gun (and a man) and entertain a rowdy bar full of cowboys. But here the comparison ends. Miranda Lambert is her own woman, with her own sound, and it’s gratifying to see her carve out her niche as country’s new bad girl on her own terms.

There are girl singers a-plenty in Nashville, and some of them are pretty blondes, but this one has a pistol tattooed on her arm and the cajones to cut Kid Rock a new one when he made the mistake of messing with her on a duet. (Check out the 4:20 mark when she tells him "I'll shoot you!") “It’s time to get a gun,” she sings on her song of that name, “that’s what I’ve been thinking. / I could afford one / if I did just a little less drinking.” Watch out, fellas!

When Miranda Lambert performs, she either sits or stands there at the mic with her guitar and just sings, or she stomps and twirls around the stage like a maniac, whipping her hair back and forth like a metalhead. Carrie Underwood might also bring the heat, but Miranda makes you feel she could drink you under the table after the show. And steal your boyfriend. Look at how she takes a wrecking ball to Brooks & Dunn’s “Hillbilly Deluxe.”

Not that she needs to; she will be married in a month to Uber-Hottie Blake Shelton (her “fiancey”) who appears to be head-over-heels for her. Thence they will take up the country couple mantle long held by Tim and Faith, and by numerous others before them. It was her suggestion that he record Michael BublĂ©’s hit “Home,” (she sings backing vocals) which broke him into the big time when his career had floundered after early promise. (There are many versions of them singing this song, but this version is perhaps the sweetest, despite the muffled sound (get a room!!!!!)

The Inky Jukebox was not aware that Lambert had been a finalist on the show Nashville Star, which won her a recording contract; it was her first big hit, “Famous in a Small Town” that caught our attention. It’s a homely song, but she delivers the chorus with a cascade of notes that smacks you with enthusiasm.

The Inky Jukebox would like to confess at this juncture that a large portion of the summer of 2009 was spent pretending to be recording a video of “Dead Flowers” assuming that said video was being recorded through a dashboard-cam. 

We always preferred that song to the more poppy “White Liar” which benefitted from an all-star cast in the video (including Jamey Johnson as preacher). Lambert collaborated with Johnson on Dierks Bentley’s “Bad Angel.”

Being a no-holds-barred kind of commentator, The Inky Jukebox acknowledges that it has been highly critical of Lambert’s buxomness and small-town prom-queen style when it comes to the Red Carpet. This is a girl who has been gifted with extraordinary beauty, and we’d just like to see her not let it go, is all. 

Now that she’s a bona-fide Nashville Star, she needs to stop playing dress-up when it comes to these things, and employ the services of someone who knows from sparkle (and a trainer!). That picture at the top of the article? She's put on a few lbs since then. To make up for this, we have only included gorgeous pictures of her here.


Lambert is currently touring with the fastly up-and-coming Justin Moore, making for a hot ticket. Go see ‘em. 

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